Friday, March 20, 2015

Route 66 in Oklahoma - Tulsa, Oklahoma - Part 5b 'Off the beaten path'

Tulsa is not only my hometown, but a lovely city....accentuated by a recent New York Times article 52 Places You Should Go in 2015  (Tulsa is sandwiched between Rome and Shanghai). Tulsa is also found in this nice piece at the same newspaper: With Faith of Investors, Downtown Tulsa Reawakens which also has a little slideshow.
My favorite view with Art Deco and Modern Blend.  The tall building withe green patina is the Mid Continent Building and the one with multicolored roof is the Philcade Building
We've already established in the previous post (Tulsa Oklahoma - Part 5a) that 11th street is Route 66 through Tulsa, but if you only stay on 'the road' you'll miss a lot.  Tulsa's Downtown  is rich in Art Deco buildings with contemporary set against that backdrop, as well as theater, art and sports.Guided tours are available at this link The Gilcrease and Philbrook art museums and the grounds that surround them are well worth seeing.

Let's go back to Tulsa's beginning.....the Muscogee (Creek) 
Nation...of which I am a proud citizen..... established Tulsa near the banks of the Arkansas River after the government 'Removal' from Alabama  Creek Council Tree Site    Since it's almost Downtown, let's see what's there   :)

Tulsa has formed 'Districts'  within the Downtown Area and is shown on this Map.   The Art Deco District, as the name implies, holds very fine examples of that architecture. There are 55 buildings listed on the National Registry of Historic Places as well as 8 'places' and 14 homes
Art Deco is  found in the wonderful details of the buildings..inside and outside. Built in 1929 this is the original Oklahoma Natural Gas Building, above. A quick click will enlarge the photos.

The below photos are of the Tulsa World Newspaper....a paper that was established in 1905 and remained independent until 2013.

Left to Right:  Mayo Hotel; Mincks-Adams Building; Central High School and 310 South Boston Building
The Mayo Hotel was built in 1925 and set empty until 2001, when a private family brought it back to glory.   Please click on the link and see the fabulous interior.   Art Deco always has beauty on the inside.

Mincks-Adams was built in 1927-28 (now referred to as the Adams Building and is excellent terra-cotta veneering.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma renovated the old Central High School found at 6th and Cincinnati (upper right above)....I think it a beautiful building and know folks that went to school there. :)

Lower right, above, is called simply 320 South Boston Building. (Link is to a blog entitled Historic Tulsa)  Original 10 floors were built in 1917 and in 1929 was expanded to 22 floors. If anyone is commanding a Zeppelin over Tulsa, this is building the for you....the pinnacle was made for mooring a Zeppelin.  

Tulsa has beautiful churches in Downtown as seen in the collage below.  
   Top Row left to right: First Christian, built 1920; First Methodist Church, built 1921-28; First Church of Christ Scientist, built 1923; First Presbyterian Church with the oldest congregation in Tulsa --1885.
Bottom Row left to right: Holy Family Cathedral, built 1912-1214; Boston Avenue Methodist Church, built in 1929 and first church with strictly American Architecture; First Baptist Church,  Trinity Episcopal Church, building began in 1926 (I think) 

It's the Art Deco Boston Avenue Methodist that may be the best known above and I just have to show you the ceiling of the sanctuary.  It's truly a treat to make a stop there to go inside and wander around the outside.    You'll find a lot of interior photos in my Picasa Album.  

But ...we're still off the 'beaten path'........Downtown  is the Brady Arts District with First Friday Art Walk and it's most notable residents are the Brady Theater; Cain's Ballroom (dubbed the home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.  Also was the home of several other notables including Ronnie Dunn); and most recently the Guthrie Green where  various activity occurs including Food Truck Wednesday. 

AND The Blue Dome District   where food, fun and frivolity abound!

When you go to Blue Dome District link 'enter' and click on the small menu button for everything there.....

A few blocks to the West is The BOK Center, which is our multi-purpose venue...home to the Tulsa Shock and the stage for all the performers who can gather very large crowds...most recently Garth Brooks played 7 nights to sold out crowds of 17,500 each night.  In 2013 The BOK ranked 13th in the US for Arena Venue ticket sales and 34th in the World.  
BOK at 

Winterfest is an ice rink in front of the building

There are world class museums close to Downtown as well as two lovely, restful parks.
The Gilcrease Museum is owned by the City of Tulsa and has the most extensive American Western Art.

The photo top left is Waite Phillips
original home which they donated
for the Philbrook Museum
 bottom left is the addition to the home
 and the photo above
is the back of the home at Christmas.

Two close-in parks are Centennial and Woodward. 
Centennial Park located almost right Downtown is a small, quiet park

Woodward Park is larger and it's where the Tulsa Garden Center calls home.  In the Springtime the beauty is unmatched.... with azaleas abounding in all colors and dogwoods blooming in harmony....take a camera or a paintbrush. :)

When I was 12 years old we moved away from Tulsa and at that time the 'Oil Capital of the World' had the most wealth-per-capita in the United States....and then in the 60's the oil companies began the move to Houston and the 80's brought the 'BUST'.  However, Oklahomans and Tulsans are some of the most resilient folks I've ever known and today it's a thriving city.  Oklahoma is the second largest producer of natural gas and in honor of the oil and gas business The Golden Driller, standing 76' tall, was erected at the Fairgrounds and stands in front of what is called The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Event Center....  that is the image I will leave you with.....
There's just a lot to see in Tulsa, Oklahoma...a GREAT PLACE TO GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66.
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